Monday, July 28, 2014

Film #46: Robot Jox (1990)

Plot - This film is (sometimes) awesome! The screenplay was penned by multiple Hugo award-winner Joe Haldeman, but it's story was conceived by Stuart Gordon, director of Re-Animator and story-conception guy for Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. By the film alone, you can tell that something terrible happened. Allegedly weighty issues and ideas are presented in the silliest form. I'm supposed to really care about these people, yet they feel paper-thin Saturday morning cartoon characters. The robot fights are great, but I wouldn't really count them as part of the story.

Form - Ranging from snappy to okay, the film tries to be a special effect joyride when only half the special effects even hit their mark.

F/X - Robot fights. This is the stuff dreams are made of, with models and stop-motion taking precedence over any fancy computer wizardry. The final battle is absolutely spectacular, and the first one is nothing to scoff at. My eyes widened when one mech fell and crushed an entire audience of spectators.

Acting - Ugh. Stuart Gordon was obviously going for a light tone here, with stereotypes being played up for what he thought would be dollar signs. Jeffery Combs has a cute cameo as a gambling idiot.

Mise en scene - Bright and anime-like. I wish there were more films like this.

Quotables - Not really. The main character drops off some stale one-liners.

Cool stuff - Robot fights! On land, in space, the visual effects are awe-inspiring. I'm excited to check out the two films marketed as sequels, Robot Wars and Crash and Burn.


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